Sir Michael Palin has announced he is to undergo heart surgery to repair a valve.
The 76-year-old star of Monty Python’s Flying Circus revealed he was diagnosed with a leaky mitral valve five years ago, which now requires repair.
Palin wrote on his official website: “Five years ago, a routine health check revealed a leaky mitral valve in my heart. Until the beginning of this year it had not affected my general level of fitness.
“Recently, though, I have felt my heart having to work harder and have been advised it’s time to have the valve repaired. I shall be undergoing surgery in September and should be back to normal, or rather better than normal, within three months.”
The mitral valve is a small flap in the heart that stops blood flowing the wrong way.
Palin - who was knighted in the New Year Honours List in January and collected his honour from Buckingham Palace in June - still leads a busy and active career, completing a stage tour with his latest book Erebus earlier this month.
Last year the actor, writer and travel presenter travelled to North Korea for his documentary Michael Palin in North Korea.
Palin recently revealed his friend and fellow Python Terry Jones’ health has become so bad he can no longer speak. Jones, 77, was diagnosed with dementia in 2015.
He shared on Facebook that on a recent visit he read aloud to Jones from the book Dr Fegg’s Encyclopeadia Of All World Knowledge, which they co-wrote together.
Palin noted: “He can say very little these days, but he can and did laugh as I read some of the pages. And what really impressed me was that he laughed only at the things he’d written!”
Jones has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a form of frontotemporal dementia which effects speech and communication. Concerns for his health were first raised during the Monty Python reunion show Monty Python Live (Mostly) in July 2014 when he struggled to learn his lines.